Scriptures

The Gospel

Introduction

In the religious world today there seems to be many different ‘gospels’, all of which seem plausible and all of which seem to offer something to attract the unbeliever. Some offer a pain and trial free existence, some offer financial wealth and some offer both but when we listen closely to their message, we soon discover that it’s actually not the Gospel we read about in the Bible they are proclaiming.

Now proclaiming a different gospel isn’t nothing new, the apostle Paul warned the Galatian Christians against accepting a different gospel.

‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!’ Galatians 1:6-9

These are strong words from Paul, the Galatians had already heard and obeyed the real Gospel but now it seems some people were coming along and proclaiming a different gospel.

Why was Paul so stern?

Simply because if they abandoned the real Gospel and begun to follow this new gospel, they would have ultimately lost their salvation.

What was the Gospel Paul preached to them?

‘Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the GOSPEL I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this GOSPEL you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.’ 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

When we read what the actual Gospel message is, it clear, it’s simple and it’s certainly not confusing. The Gospel is ‘Good News’ and it’s all about what God did for us, God wants us to rejoice over the good news of what Jesus did for all of us on the cross.

Although our sin deserves death, Jesus paid the price and even defeated death, so we too can live forever with God. We’re all sinners, Romans 3:23, in need of salvation but through the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, He has provided an opportunity for us to be forgiven of our sins Ephesians 1:7 / Ephesians 2:1-10 and receive eternal life, John 3:16.

His love for us in unconditional, Romans 5:8, but the salvation He offers us is conditional and that’s because God isn’t only a God of love, He’s also a God who requires obedience to His will, Matthew 25:21 / Revelation 2:10.

How Should We Respond To The Gospel?

Our response must be to have FAITH in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Romans 10:17 / Hebrews 11:6. We must REPENT (change the direction of our lives), Acts 2:38 / Acts 3:19 / Acts 17:30, and ACKNOWLEDGE our faith in Christ Jesus, Matthew 10:32 / Romans 10:9-10 and be BAPTISED (immersed) into water to receive the forgiveness of our sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and so be ADDED to the Lord’s church, Mark 16:16 / Acts 2:37-42 / Acts 22:16. In this way we enter into a NEW RELATIONSHIP with God and His Son and begin a NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 4:17-32.

Faith

‘Without faith we can’t please God’ Hebrews 11:6

Faith is an essential part in our relationship with God and it’s the beginning of the process of becoming a Christian and receiving eternal life. If we don’t believe in Him and believe Him, we won’t really be trying to please Him!

‘After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’ Mark 1:14-15

Mark tells us that Jesus wants us to believe the Gospel, as we noted read earlier, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 tells us that the Gospel is believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Remember the good news speaks of how Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that we too can live with Him for eternally, this really is good news for all of mankind.

Repentance

There are two types of repentance found within the Bible, one of which is all about just feeling sorry for ourselves and the other is about feeling sorry for the sins we’ve committed against God, but that sorrow brings us to the point where we change the direction of our lives.

‘Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.’ 2 Corinthians 7:10

Along with faith, God requires repentance from sin from anyone who wants to become a Christian.

‘What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.’ Matthew 21:28-29

This is a great example from Jesus about repentance, in the story the son disobeyed his father but when he ‘regretted’ his decision, he repented, he changed his mind about his decision and he went on to do what his father asked on him to do.

Confession

Along with faith and repentance, if a person desires to become a Christian they need to acknowledge their faith in Christ Jesus.

‘Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.’ Matthew 10:32

‘If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.’ Romans 10:9-10

Everyone must confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God before they can become a Christian.

Baptism

Along with faith, repentance and confession, anyone desiring to obey God must be baptised.

‘Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’ Mark 16:16

Notice that Jesus says that baptism is a command for ‘believers’, here Jesus is explaining where our obedience begins and where it leads to. In other words, we start with faith which leads us to be baptised in order to be saved.

Obviously, if someone doesn’t believe, they won’t do everything else, God has commanded us to do, repent, confess and be baptised in order receive salvation.

There are four reasons as to why we must be baptised

1. We must be baptised if we want to be saved. Matthew 28:19-20 / 1 Peter 3:21.

2. We must be baptised to have our sins forgiven and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38.

3. We must be baptised if we want to be ‘in Christ’ which means to be a Christian. Galatians 3:27.

4. Finally, we must be baptised if we want to become a member of the body of Christ, His church, Ephesians 1:22-23 / 1 Corinthians 12:13.

The Church

Upon our baptism, we’re added to Christ’s church, the total of all people who have obeyed Him, Acts 2:37-47. Christ and His church are inseparable because He gave Himself for the church, Acts 20:28 and is the Head and Saviour of His church, Ephesians 1:22-23 / Colossians 1:18. Christ is Lord of everything, including our daily work responsibilities and relationships, Ephesians 5:21-6:9.

The church, the body of believers, shares the Lord’s Supper as a memorial to Christ’s death on the first day of each week, Acts 20:7 / 1 Corinthians 11:17-32, the church sings hymns of praise together, Ephesians 5:18-20, they pray together, Acts 2:42 / 1 Thessalonians 5:17, they receive God’s Word in teaching together, Acts 2:42, and encourage each other, 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Christ’s followers show the presence of Christ in their lives by both their words and their deeds, Colossians 3:17.

The Gospel Simplified

He came for YOU

‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’ Luke 19:10

He died for YOU

‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Romans 5:8

He was buried but rose from the dead for YOU

‘For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.’ Romans 6:5

GOD’S PART

1. The great love of God for man. John 3:16
2. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Saviour. Luke 19:10
3. Sent the Holy Spirit as a guide. John 16:13
4. Gave the Gospel ‘Good News’ as ‘the power’ that brings salvation. Romans 1:16
5. Provided atonement by the blood of Christ. Romans 5:9

YOUR PART

1. Hear the Gospel. Romans 10:17 / John 8:32
2. Believe the Gospel. Hebrews 11:6 / John 20:31
3. Repent of past sins. Luke 13:3 / Acts 17:30
4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:10 / Matthew 10:32
5. Be Baptised ‘full immersion’. Galatians 3:27 / Mark 16:16 / Acts 2:38

God has done HIS PART, will YOU do YOUR PART?

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Romans 10:9

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